Sitting at the kitchen table working on my laptop after the children’s bedtime routines had been completed and the dinner plates cleared away, I put music on to play as I always do in the evenings, whether to help me concentrate on the task at hand, or provide a soothing backdrop to more relaxing pursuits. One of the first songs to play on my ‘Favourites’ playlist was Suzanne Vega’s ‘Gypsy’, which made me pause and lift my head from my work to listen to the lyrics. When it had finished I played it again, and then a third time, simply letting the emotions it evokes wash over me. The chorus stirs feelings and memories deep within – a craving to be held, cradled, and comforted when I feel the sorrow of those I’ve lost or will lose to death or distance.
A little while later I thought to myself, ‘Didn’t I mention this song in a blog post once?’ So I jumped on my much-neglected blog, did a quick search, and promptly found a post from October 2011, and extract from which is as follows:
“There is a chorus in a Suzanne Vega song called ‘Gypsy’ that has echoed ‘round and ‘round my head many times over the past months, making my voice catch with tears time and again and I softly whisper along:
“Oh, hold me like a baby
That will not fall asleep
Curl me up inside you
And let me hear you through the heat”
The soothing melody and rich voice, as much as the words, evoke within me a sense of generations of mothers before me rocking their babies to sleep, as my mother did me, and I have my children… an image of physical comfort that speaks to my earliest memories, and the depth of my loss.”
It is quite startling sometimes to have this record to go back to and read over again. It provides many things, including a reminder of where some of my current reactions may, in part, stem from, and a yard-stick on which to measure how these responses may have changed in the intervening years. The loss of my mother was so intense at the point at which I wrote my previous post, and while memories of her were certainly wound into my thoughts tonight, the general sorrow I was feeling was broader in scope, including the past, impending and potential losses of lovers, friends, and family.
So, as I was reflecting on this, it seemed appropriate to return again to the place I created to articulate and share my reflections, and continue to leave myself a trail of crumbs back to my past thoughts for whenever I might wish to follow them.